Body Transformation: Sarah's Inspiration And Motivation
Transforming my body is always something I wanted to do. It wasn't until after my first pregnancy and 60-lbs weight gain that I realized how badly I wanted it. I remember stumbling across an Oxygen magazine at the gym and thinking, "That's it! That's what I want to look like!"
So I figured since I was overweight, I needed to run to look like that. And so that's what I did. I ran, and ran, and RAN. I got so good at running that my husband started having to work to keep up! He runs all the time, so I was proud of that!
Although I was losing weight, I still didn't have that firm "toned" look I wanted. I tried to cut calories to 1200; I tried the South Beach Diet; and for a short time I even tried the Atkins diet. Nothing gave me the results I wanted. And I was HUNGRY and MEAN, which wasn't fair to my family. I knew if things didn't change, I would never have their full support.
After my second pregnancy, I gained 70+ lbs. I knew I had to do something! I hired a well-known fitness trainer online to finally guide me to my dream body. Little did I know how popular and well known this trainer was, and shortly into my program I realized that I was just a number - a PayPal number.
I was heavy-lifting for an hour and doing 60-90 minutes of very intense steady state or HIIT cardio until I hit the point of nausea. I did those workouts 5 days a week, all on 1200-1300 calories. I began to HATE working out. And while I dropped weight, I still wasn't seeing the muscle gains I wanted!
So after almost half a year of torturing myself, I GAVE UP. The lack of results, plus the tortuous routine and being hungry all the time just wasn't worth it to me. After about a year feeling utterly defeated, I gained back 20 lbs. I decided I was finally, "Sick and tired of being sick and tired."
I reasoned with myself that I didn't care what it took I was going to do it this time! That's when I found Allison Ethier through Facebook. I had never heard of her before, but she was actually in one of my Oxygen magazine issues! I had no idea of her unfathomable credentials as an IFBB champion. I had no idea about the level of her accomplishments or achievements. I simply thought, "If I could have just HALF of what she has, I would be thrilled!"
With my husband's blessing (since he's footing the bill) I hired Allison Ethier to train me online! What an honor! At first I was hesitant and worried that my experience might be similar to my firstt one. I'm proud to say Allison proved me wrong. She really made me feel as though she cared about my results. She would ask me how I was feeling pre and post workout, how my menu was working for me, and even how my family was adjusting to it all! We would make adjustments where necessary. I also had an open door of communication, which was invaluable.
Through Allison's knowledge and obvious experience, she was able to guide me to the body of my dreams in 12 weeks. She did so exquisitely. I truly can't say enough about her. She knows her stuff that's for sure!
I found out about the Transformation Challenge through my good friend and NPC figure competitor Stephanie Toomey-Barber, who is a part of Team Optimum Nutrition and American Bodybuilding (ABB). I am blessed to have gotten to know her.
Stephanie also had gained weight during her first pregnancy and now competes at the NPC level! Knowing that both Allison and Stephanie were moms and fitness pros motivated me in a huge way! It made me believe that my goals could be a reality as well! Having a great body is one thing, but having a great body after birthing a HUMAN - now you have my full attention and respect!
Allison and I agreed that the 12 week challenge would be a great motivational tool to help me toward my goal. And it was! I can't thank her enough for the professionalism, knowledge and support she gave me through this whole adventure. I must also thank God for giving me the strength to finish strong. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! And during that last week of training, I could use every bit of help I could get, especially during the HIIT sessions.
If I am to be completely honest in how I achieved my goals and what inspired me along the way, I MUST include the One who made it all possible in the first place. With that said, my prayer is that others could be inspired not only by what I have achieved but inspired by our loving Maker as well.
Sarah's Top 5 Motivation Tips
- Don't train full throttle right at the start! You need to be able to slowly increase training and cardio in small increments to avoid plateaus!
- EAT CLEAN! (That means weekends too)
- Drink lots of water! If you are only 10% dehydrated it can make you 50% weaker!
- Expect people to pressure you to fail! "Come on! Just have some cake!" When this happens get on Bodybuilding.com for some instant support and people who understand what you are going through! We will remind you that you are not alone! Plan not to fail no matter what!
- Stop eating as a hobby! Eat to LIVE; don't LIVE to eat!